The Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau board on Monday chose Joel J. Dunn, city recreation operations manager, to serve as the bureau’s new executive director.
Dunn, 45, has been with the community’s Parks and Recreation Department since 1993 where, in recent years, he marketed Carson City as a sports-tourism destination point. He will be paid $83,000 annually and receive a $3,000 car allowance.
“I’m excited for the opportunities to sell my hometown of Carson City to the world,” Dunn said upon learning he’d beaten out a trio of other applicants in morning interviews. He said he looked forward to working with Carson City businesses and others in attracting tourists.
Dunn, who starts his new job May 31, won praise from board members for his enthusiastic and polished presentation.
“He presents himself far better than any other candidate,” said Stan Jones, a board member and the chairman of the city’s Chamber of Commerce.
“The other part of it is — and he emphasized this — he’s a ‘doer,’” said Karen Abowd, board member and a city supervisor. She also said Dunn knows how to handle red tape.
During his presentation, Dunn made that point and linked it to the need for the community to put out the welcome mat for tourism.
“Cutting the red tape and laying out the red carpet,” he said, is key to making tourism grow in Nevada’s capital city. He said the strategic plan put together by the bureau is a good start and that he wants to build on it, along with the new tagline slogan that accompanies tourism-oriented advertising and outreach. That tagline is “Wake up to Carson City.”
“Wake up to Carson City: It starts here” was the Dunn approach, which he said can tie in with various activities, attractions and nearby options for people using the community as a base for vacation visits in the region.
“I think I bring the skill set that will bring success,” he said, citing adaptability, honesty, trustworthiness and a data-driven approach.
Jesse Dhami, hotel/motel representative on the board, took note of that combination and Dunn’s “doer” orientation.
“Execution is, I think, the most important part,” Dhami said.
Dunn’s background includes his two decades at Parks and Recreation; a decade before that with Western Nevada College under Anne Hansen, director of marketing there; as well as two years in the 1980s with the Nevada Commission on Tourism.
Dunn’s competitors in the final interview process were Robert Cox, a North Carolina resident with a convention and visitors bureau in that state; William A. O’Keefe of Carson City, director of business development with Haws Corp.; and Steven M. Reynolds, Carson City, owner/general manager of Mount Rose Marketing/Sign Pro.